Migrating cloud environments

Making location intelligence accessible to the freight industry

Bustle is an Australian-based company that provides transport management systems designed at aggregating road freight and carrier management. The Bustle platform enables carriers and transport companies to see the whole picture of their entire supply chain through a connected platform and driver applications. Removing paper and transferring processes to automated digital capture creates an Internet of Things (IoT) environment for organisations delivering real-time data to stakeholders.

Servicing Tier 1 customers down to SME “mum and dad” type carriers, Bustle advances the reduction and removal of paper data capture in 5 key areas of their business: Operations, Safety & Compliance, Invoicing, Asset Management and Fatigue. Regardless of the size of transport organisations, it is still common practice to see businesses using a mixture of hardware, software and paper to capture business data. Consolidating these requirements into minimal systems is a key value proposition Bustle offers its customers as they look to manage their wider carrier network. 

Over the past few years, the Bustle platform has evolved into a whitelabel software with a wide range of features specifically focused on road freight and becoming the gold standard for responsible growth and management of transport operations. The software delivers; 
 
  • End-to-end management of road freight movements utilising geocoding, sign-on glass, time stamps, activity events and audit logs. 
  • Monitoring of daily driver activity and work tasks.
  • Manifesting and consolidation of freight with driver trip sheets and journey management plans.
  • Automated invoicing reports and connectivity to 3rd party ERP and accounting platforms.
  • Compliance suite of tools such as safety and training matrix, policies and procedures management, safety form builders, driver playback and automated (forced) safety forms
  • Electronic Work Diary (EWD) submitted for review by the NHVR.
  • Asset register database with permit capture, automation of odometer, integrations with hardware telematic providers, form builders and servicing. 
  • Connector suite of data exchange such as API’s, CSV ingestion/dispatches and industry standard tools i.e. MYOB, Xero, 1Stop etc. 

One of Bustle’s primary operational features is the connection of real-time work events using Google Maps Platform and Google Cloud Platform to improve real-time decision making. With this in mind, Bustle required an external advisor that had an understanding of Google Maps and the location information within the platform, while also bringing experienced Cloud engineers to the table. As Bustle’s Google Maps partner since 2017, Liveli was equipped to understand their platform requirements and was chosen based on their knowledge on how to scale their platform to meet future business demands.
 

Liveli, as our existing Google Maps partner, gave us the validation and confidence we needed for the work we set out to complete

- Shannon Coleman, Chief Financial Officer at Bustle

Scaling to meet delivery demand

In June 2019, Bustle engaged Liveli as a trusted advisor in a two-part technology audit to ensure their platform was hosted using an appropriate cloud platform and further, that their implementation was set up for success.

To enable a strong application foundation for the future Live first carried out an audit of their existing web application hosted on Microsoft Azure. Bustle shared their challenges and requirements for a scalable, highly-secure and performant cloud environment, which included: 

Architecture
Bustle’s application components were hosted in disparate network locations, with their database and application servers communicated without each other over the public internet. At scale this showed potential security vulnerabilities and also introduced latency, affecting the overall performance of the application.

To overcome this, Liveli provided Bustle with a design for one fully-managed containerised environment with components having close network proximity to each other, within the same network.

Autoscaling
Bustle indicated to Liveli that their application was a database constrained one, in that their database was the bottleneck for overall system performance.  Bustle required a database that scaled to meet periods of delivery demand.  In addition to this, the application layer received varying demand across the day, with increased load in the morning when delivery slots were allocated, and lower load in the evening when deliveries quietened down.To handle this fluctuation of demand in an efficient manner, Liveli designed an elastic and autoscaled architecture. 

To achieve this, Kubernetes was identified as the service to provide a scalable application stack. Compute nodes and containers within the Kubernetes architecture can gracefully scale the Bustle application accordingly, without negatively impacting the user experience.

Pricing
Bustle were after an affordable pricing model that accurately reflected their cloud service consumption, providing resource-based scaling and dollar per minute pricing.
 

Choosing the right cloud environment: Google Cloud Platform

After receiving recommendations from the Liveli team, Bustle opted for Google Cloud Platform, utilising Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE). This managed service enables cost-effective deployment and scaling of their application within Google Cloud Platform. Furthermore, as Bustle grows the platform is capable of supporting future deployments to multiple regions. The GKE deployment further supported other functionality on the platform, such as the Google Maps Platform, therefore maximising the returns on their existing Google investment.

Setting the platform up for successful deployment

Post-migration, Bustle and Liveli worked closely to audit the new production environment to ensure the configuration was set up for ongoing success and support.

Liveli’s Lead Customer Engineer, Brendan Downes addressed any migration teething issues including, but not limited to cluster scaling, GKE node auto-repairs, release channel updates, network policy accessibility and product environment support.
 

A scalable and cost-effective tool

Because Bustle’s platform is charged per active user, defined as any profile using the platform in the month month, costs have halved while the number of users has increased by 84%.

By partnering with Liveli, the technology shift and newly accessible pricing model has equipped Bustle to scale to meet not only the demand of businesses with a handful of assets, but also businesses that have hundreds of registered assets.

Moreover, the cost-effectiveness of the solution means that Bustle can now redirect savings to developing other parts of the business.
Brendan was really good to work with, especially the way he adopted our persona and applied our goals alongside what we needed to achieve, it was a really good interaction and he gave us a lot of confidence

- Brad Johnson, Technical lead at Bustle

Sydney office
Level 24, Three International Towers,
300 Barangaroo Ave,
Sydney NSW 2000,
Australia
Perth office
1a/53 Burswood Road,
Burswood WA 6100,
Australia